Grace Jones is famous for being extravagant with a unique look, a rebellious disco icon of the 1980’s. When she starred as henchwoman May Day alongside Roger Moore in ‘A View To A Kill‘ in 1985, she brought along her then boyfriend Dolph Lundgren to get a part in the film as well. Details like this are revealed in Grace Jones’ 400 page strong biography which has been released by Simon & Schuster last month. Jones penned her story in cooperation with writer, broadcaster, and cultural critic Paul Morley.
In the biography, many details are revealed regarding James Bond and how Grace landed a part in the most successful film franchise in history. While some are well known to fans of the legendary secret agent, reading them from the memory of the people who have been at the film set still feels different.
[su_quote cite=”Grace Jones, I´ll Never Write My Memoirs (2015)“]The James Bond producers had really wanted me to be in a Bond movie, because in the 1980s, with the franchise threatened by changing times, they were chasing fashion and looking to reach a wider audience by involving more pop and rock. They had wanted me to be in Octopussy, in the title role, played by Maud Adams, but there was some anxiety about having a black woman as a villain. A Bond movie is, for all the appearance of sex and violence, a fundamentally very conservative franchise.[/su_quote]
Jones goes on describing how a main villain for the film needed to be found after both David Bowie and Mick jagger had declined the offer, how director John Glen wasn´t really interested in the mechanics of acting, saying that anything the actors would do wrong he could fix in the editing room. Things got tense for Jones when she was supposed to film a love scene with Christopher Walken and she describes, how she kept boyfriend Dolph Lundgren away from the filming of the scene. However, there were also funny moments like when she was supposed to act surprised seeing James Bond alive and found it hard to do since everybody knew he was.
Interestingly, Jones was given the opportunity to design her own costumes for ‘A View To A Kill‘, a task that was usually handled by Albert R. Broccoli’s wife. Jones explains how she took inspiration from Disney films in designing her wardrobe for the film, using tips rom designers Issey, Kenzo and Azzedine Alaïa. Jones imagined that being a Bond girl would be a bit like a cartoon.
Jones also connects the dots between her, Bond creator Ian Fleming and ‘Dr. No‘ location scout Chris Blackwell, whose mother had been a mistress of Fleming. Jones even calls her film character May Day a direct descendant of the very first Bond Girl, Honey Rider. Fleming’s retreat in Jamaica, the famous Goldeneye estate, also seems to have played a key part in the writing of the biography.
[su_quote cite=”Grace Jones, I´ll Never Write My Memoirs (2015)“]I have visited Goldeneye many times, and spent some time there working on this book, because of the way the place clears the head and revives the soul. I have taken my mom and dad there, who agree with Chris that the place has a magical atmosphere. Many who visit plant a tree there, labeled with their name, helped by Ian Fleming’s original gardener, Ramsey Dacosta. I have planted a tree there, alongside those planted by the Clintons, Princess Margaret, Bono, and Pierce Brosnan, and I love to see how quickly and confidently it has grown over the years. One or two others nearby have not fared as well.[/su_quote]
The biography is well worth a read – not just for fans of Grace Jones and James Bond, but also for everyone who is looking for life lessons of a real music and style icon. Sure, Jones’ story might not be a pristine white fairytale story but if you were really looking for that, you better stick with what she used as inspiration for her Bond film costumes: Disney.
[su_box title=”FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE BOOK AND ORDER YOUR COPY” style=”bubbles” box_color=”#725d00″]If you´d like to read an excerpt of the book, learn more about the publisher and the writers behind the book, please visit the official Simon & Schuster website. You can also order Grace Jones book directly via the publisher.[/su_box]